Ever heard an actual Town Crier? One of the first things I saw when I made my way into the town square was a guy dressed in a long red coat giving us the news I believe. He worked for the town or one of the historical buildings right there although I didn’t stop and ask. Let me back up a step though. I came in to oxford from the north and entered a giant roundabout and took the exit I thought would take me where I wanted to go but ended up heading in slightly the wrong direction.
Trying to read a map and drive while drinking coffee can be a challenge at times. So rather than risk it I turned back into the circle and stopped at a petrol station. I filled up, got some great directions and exited on the correct rode out of the circle. I was able to quickly locate a parking spot on the main road leading into the city square and parked. The city is remarkably clean and I just love all the cobblestone. I made my way in on foot and that’s where I saw the guy in the red coat. From here I proceeded to walk the side streets and alleys to get a feel for the place and look around a bit. This is apparently a big tourist town and it was appropriately packed with them. Most of the photos show some but don’t do the crowds justice as I was trying to shoot the city, not the people.
The whole town looks old like something out of a history book and appropriately so as it is several centuries old and I’m told was actually a capital at one time. King Charles ruled from Oxford university for a few years after he was driven out of his castle by Oliver Cromwell. Something else I learned while I was in Oxford is that Cambridge was actually started by students or faculty from Oxford. I don’t recall the reason but talk about two of the most prestigious universities in the world and both relatively close to one another.
I did manage to stop a few times and sample what I thought was somewhat local food, and meet some people. Many of the staff I met in the restaurants and shops appeared to be from Eastern Europe or Russia I believe. Interesting, where people end up isn’t it? I did walk through parts of Oxford university and snap a few photos as the place is so old. I think I read somewhere that the teaching part began around 1096 and developed from there. Now, that’s a university with a history. It’s seen some trying times in
England (well, not the university but the people) and it survived.
As always I managed to find my way to a couple churches and walked around them reading the signs and taking photos. This city is filled with buildings centuries old but that is pretty much England in general. The buildings are all constructed out of stone of some type so that is not doubt a prime reason they have lasted so long. Oxford was a quick trip for me as I decided at the last minute I would go and spent several hours walking around enjoying the city and snapping photos. There is quite a bit to do for tourists and locals and multiple tie ins to history and I’m told some fairy tales and movies. If I ever have the chance I’ll probably return as I didn’t have much time. It looked like a fascinating, active city and rightfully so as it is a university town and students are on the go looking for something to do no doubt.
I stopped by the Christian Science Society while I was there as well. A beautiful place, well kept, friendly members, I’m glad I stopped by.